The home losing continues for the Sabres

January 30, 2018

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Much has been made of the Sabres three game winning streak in Western Canada, but can they bring that same game to their own arena?

The last game in Buffalo, they got blasted 7-1 by Dallas, but they went on the road and haven’t lost since.

In the first 3:17 of the game, the Sabres never got out of their own zone and were a train wreck. Jack Eichel’s line finally snapped them out of it with a good shift that was hard on the forecheck. Buffalo got two power plays after that and starting moving their feet and playing better.

The start of the second wasn’t as bad as the first, but it wasn’t good. They again were having trouble with their breakouts plus, the Sabres rarely got any traffic in front of Keith Kinkaid which made it very easy for him. The only screens he saw were on the Sabres first power play attempt and the last five minutes of the game. They got traffic in front of Kinkaid late and Jake McCabe netted their only goal.

The All-Star break wasn’t kind to Rasmus Ristolainen. For about 20 games he showed up in ill humor and was very hard to play against. In this game, he was never in anybody’s face and showed none of the passion and fire that got him going since he returned from injury.

Miles Wood cut around Ristolainen for the first New Jersey goal and used his speed to score. The Sabres didn’t give up a play like that in the whole three games out west.     

I was afraid that Eichel might come back from the All-Star Game with some bad habits and it looked like it. He was trying to stickhandle the puck a lot and it wasn’t getting him anywhere.

The team put so much passion in their work out west, but it looked like it was gone at home. The crowd was once again silent because there was really nothing to cheer about. Just another typical home game in Sabreland.

This team is uptight when they play at home. Phil Housley said they didn’t process the game fast and it was very evident.

The breakout passes were off most of the night because the Devils used their speed and were on the Sabres all night. For much of the game they didn’t function as a five man unit.

The loss puts the Sabre record in this building 6-13-2. The fact that this team plays uptight at home is a huge concern. You would think they’d come home brimming with confidence, but the confidence was lost during the four day break from games.